February is Heart Month

Last February I wrote an article for the Bloor West Village SNAP Newspaper for the Heart and Stroke Foundation’s annual Heart month to raise awareness about heart health.  Below I’d like to share that article as well as a great slide show about foods that can improve your heart health. 

Heart month is about promoting healthy living to prevent heart disease as well as raising money for research into treatments for heart disease. 

Although there are factors contributing to heart disease such as family history which you cannot change, there are many factors which you are in control of such as diet, exercise, stress level, weight, alcohol and tobacco intake. Be proactive when it comes to heart health by regularly visiting your primary health care provider to screen for high cholesterol, high blood pressure and diabetes which are all key risk factors for having a heart attack or stroke in the future.  Forming a partnership with your primary health care provider to implement lifestyle changes now is a wise investment for a healthy heart in the future.

Naturopathic Doctors work with other health care providers in offering evidence-based lifestyle interventions for preventing heart disease by utilizing clinical nutrition, exercise prescription, botanical medicine, and stress reduction techniques making them an ideal choice for people looking to improve their heart health.

Here are 3 simple ways to improve your heart health:

  1. Get up and move! Walking, swimming or dancing for 30 minutes five times a week will not only reduce stress and make you feel good, but will exercise your heart muscle to increase its strength and efficiency in pumping blood to your vital organs.
  2. Increase your fibre intake. Eating oatmeal for breakfast or snacking on a handful of almonds has been shown to significantly lower your cholesterol and blood pressure; both important for a healthy heart.
  3. Choose to practice stress reduction techniques such as deep breathing or yoga instead of reaching for a glass of wine or a cigarette when you feel anxious. Receiving a massage treatment is also an effective way to unwind after a workday and will keep your blood pressure low.

Take charge of your health and make the changes necessary for a healthy heart during the Heart and Stroke Foundation’s Heart month this February.  For more information on Heart month visit www.heartandstroke.ca

This is a great slide show I found showcasing heart healthy foods! The only thing I would change is to choose smaller fish such as anchovies and sardines to get your omega-3 fatty acids from instead of tuna which can bioaccumulate mercury. http://www.webmd.com/heart-disease/slideshow-foods-to-save-your-heart